Repurposing Fence Panels: Headboard and Shutters

When I bought my house, it wasn’t exactly HGTV-ready. Unless it was on Fixer Upper. Then it was definitely, definitely appropriate. I had a lot of work to do inside and out! One of the major things that needed replaced was the fence. We have a huge backyard which means a LOT of fence that was pretty dilapidated. When Zach moved in after we got married, he came with dogs. Three dogs. Three big dogs.  So he tore down all the existing fence panels and we had an upgrade.

Me being such the hoarder innovator that I am, I didn’t want all these old fence panels to go to waste. There were stacks and stacks of them, and they weren’t all that bad! Reclaimed wood is the cool new thing, right?! I considered doing a plank wall, but most of the walls in our house are too big for such an elaborate accent wall. Well, I ended up making several projects out of this wood and I love the rustic touches throughout my home!

I made a headboard, outdoor shutters, and some wall art.

The Headboard

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I had been eyeing those cozy tufted headboards for a while, and thought there might be a DIY for that in the near future… but when I was given loads of free material for a plank headboard, I couldn’t pass up that opportunity! Plus, it was about 48 times easier than cutting, stuffing, and stapling fabric.

I’m not kidding you, this project took ten minutes. I measured the width of my bed and decided how high I wanted the headboard to go. Zach trimmed off the top and bottom edges of one fence panel with a skill saw to make smooth edges. He cut it to size: it was about 60 inches wide for our queen size bed. I was going to paint it but the natural wood looked awesome with my white bedding so I just sanded some of the rough parts and edges. We used screws to hang it on the wall and voila! It makes the room look so much more put-together. Not quite ready for the “after” shots on Fixer Upper, but we’re working on it.

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The Shutters

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This one is my favorite! A simple project for major curb appeal. If you read last week’s post, you know that I hate the color of my brick. It’s orange! And in my opinion, orange is NOT the new black. We’ve painted the garage and siding, and added some lovely landscape (side note: my attempt at having a peach tree completely failed), but the outside of the home was still blah. SHUTTERS TO THE RESCUE! Okay, I might have gotten a little too excited there, but seriously, these shutters changed my curb appeal life.

What you will need:

fence panels or any wood!


paint of your choice

-stain of your choice (I recommend something dark… I used dark walnut by Rustoleum)

-paintbrushes and/or small paint rollers


-latex gloves (optional but highly recommended)

The one upside of having front windows that aren’t enormous and grand is that the extra fence panels were easily long enough to make shutters. And please ignore my hideous windows, the pretty ones new have been ordered! Again, Zach used the skill saw to cut to length and then made 4 shutters that were 3 panels wide each.

I picked up a quarter gallon of a dark teal paint in Lowe’s discount section for 2 bucks. I had used it to paint my front door, so I thought I would use it for the shutters to tie it all in. I love that it gives it a pop of color, but isn’t too obnoxious with the stain over it.

I had a small paint roller set that worked perfectly for the size of these shutters. After I did some slight sanding, I rolled the paint on the sides and fronts and used a brush to get in between the panels. Notice that the “fronts” here are not the smooth faces, but rather the sides with the connecting posts.


After all four were painted, I took a short lunch break and they were all dried by the time I returned less than an hour later. The first one was nearly dry by the time I finished painting the last one anyway!

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I used a cheap paintbrush to slap on some stain in medium-size sections. I stained about 1/3 of each shutter at a time. I rubbed it in/rubbed it off with a rag and the dark stain settled in nicely to cover up the brightness of the teal. I repeated the process for all four. It took me about 2 hours for the entire project. They look amazing on the front of the house and the color even goes great with the red crepe myrtles.

I want to see someone try it in red!

The Wall Art

This was an existing project turned super-project. This post had originally inspired me to hang some cute letters on my wall like so:

well with my soul

Photo Cred

I originally had my letters (found at Michael’s) painted coral to match the living room, but my coral-and-navy theme lasted a month before I switched to yellow-and-navy. It was hanging in my entryway, so it wasn’t my top priority to take them all down and re paint them. But when the fence panels graced my life, I decided to upgrade the entire project.

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I used the same yellow spray paint from my mantle décor and gave these letters a heavy coat. As they dried, I had Zach randomly cut pieces of the panels; each ended up being around 16 or 18 inches long. He used another panel vertically along the back to screw in and keep the 6 pieces together. I used hot glue (generously) to secure my quote. Another pretty project complete!

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Let me know if you come up with any other fence-panel projects!